Finally, of course, there’s former ace Alek Manoah. There’s probably no one on the team that encountered as much bad luck than what Manoah had for the 2023 season. Back in 2022, he was basically almost on top of the baseball world, as he posted a stellar campaign in which he pitched to a 16-7 record with a 2.24 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, with 180 strikeouts in 196.2 innings pitched. He was so impressive that he was also an All-Star and AL Cy Young finalist that very same year.
But boy does that seem like ages ago now. In 2023, practically everything had fallen apart for Manoah right from the very beginning. He would struggling mightily with his control and command throughout the season, failing to find a groove even after some hard fought impressive outings. They had even tried sending him down to the minors, hoping for him to rebuild his pitching game and regain his confidence to back to where it was before.
Unfortunately, even after all that, things still didn’t turn for the better, as ultimately Manoah would lose his spot in the rotation once again when he was optioned to the minors shortly after the trade deadline. He would not rejoin the club during the stretch run and was eventually shut down for the season in September.
For someone with Manoah’s skills and abilities and the strong resume he has built up, no one was expecting such a collapse to happen. But if he can focus on the fundamentals both physically and mentally, and rebound from the unfortunate luck he had in 2023, he could be back bigger and better in no time for the future of the Jays’ franchise.